Top 25 Albums of 2020

Yes, I know this is late as hell. Y’all know how I am. Putting together these lists is hard for me, mainly because I can never hear everything I want to in one year. This won’t be comprehensive because I’ll surely end up hearing something down the line that would have made it onto this list. However, I figured it’d only be a disservice to keep these albums to myself. I usually just do a top 5 albums of the year, but I figured it’d be better to show as much love as possible, so I’m doing 25 just like I did with the extended plays. Again, these projects are ranked based on how much I enjoyed them. Number 1 on this list is no more worthy of listeners and respect than number 25. I was originally going to call this page “My 25 Favorite Albums of 2020,” but apparently people are more likely to click on objective titles, and since this is so late I need all the clicks I can get. Just like with the EP list, I unfortunately didn’t get to review every single project here, so hopefully this will give me a chance to give them some more shine. Anyway, if the title of the album is written in pink, you can click it to go to my full review. Just to be clear, this probably should go without saying, but these are far from the only albums of 2020 that should be heard. I could’ve easily made this a top 40 albums of 2020 list. Top 50 might’ve been pushing it. But yeah, there are a lot of albums that pained me to snub. I just wanna make that clear.

25. Meat Circus by Torito

This album is really great. I think Torito is a top tier lyricist to be honest. He’s incredibly skilled at putting rhymes together, and I think it’d be fair to use the “wordsmith” label on him. He doesn’t say things the same way most rappers say things. I think listeners with low attention spans who aren’t able to look past his monotone delivery will probably call it a boring listen, but people like me who really value lyricism first and foremost will love it. As a full project, it kinda feels more like a collection of songs rather than a cohesive album. When trying to figure out why, I thought that maybe it had something to do with the lyricism not being particularly personal or introspective, but I don’t think listeners should be entitled to an artist’s personal drama or life story. I guess it might just be because of the length. Maybe the production too. I don’t know. It’s not that big of a deal obviously since I love the album. There’s not a single track here that I don’t like. All the features are great, and there’s not a single wack verse here. This shit is dope. Don’t sleep on it.

24. Weevil in Disguise by Celestaphone

This album is really goddamn great. It’s also weird as fuck. I’d still say that the number one weirdest Hip Hop album I’ve ever heard in my life is You Can’t Hear Me by SHADI, but this is definitely the weirdest thing I’ve heard in 2020. SHADI’s music is weird because he sounds like he’s insane or something, but Celestaphone’s music is weird because he just sounds… weird. It doesn’t sound like he has a mental illness or anything. He just sounds like a super bizarre, unique personality. There’s really nothing that sounds like this in my opinion, but if I had to compare it to something I’d say he sounds like he studies the way MC Paul Barman writes, and the music he produces sounds like it’s straight out of an old school cartoon, but not something innocent like The Flinstones. This is like the Hip Hop equivalent to Ren & Stimpy. The fact that he completely produced this shit all on his own is really insane to me. These beats don’t sound like the work of one person. This definitely isn’t gonna be for everyone; it’s an acquired taste for sure. I personally think this shit is awesome though, and it’s unlike anything I’ve ever heard before. I think it’s one of the better albums I’ve listened to in 2020, and I don’t think I’ll be hearing anything like it until Celestaphone drops another project in the future. This shit is really fucking great though. I love it. Check it out. It’s dope.

23. Kirlian by PSYPIRITUAL & The Lasso

This album is really goddamn great. I’m sadly pretty far behind when it comes to music releases from 2020, but this is probably my favorite album from February that I’ve heard. The Lasso is easily one of the best producers out right now. Every instrumental he makes is super detailed, and they sound like they’re performed by a full band. This was basically my introduction to PSYPIRITUAL as an artist. I’d only ever heard a verse or two from him in the past, so I didn’t have much of an idea of his style. I’m definitely a fan now though. I really like when he’s rapping with that super calm, hazy, stoned-sounding delivery. Usually when artists like Curren$y or Mac Miller do it I get bored as fuck, but for whatever reason I just think PSYPIRITUAL does it super well. Maybe it has a lot to do with the fact that I think he’s a genuinely dope lyricist. This is the perfect album to get stoned to by the way. I didn’t mention it yet, but this along with that Shlohmo album from last year would be the perfect soundtrack to an evening with my stoner friends. Now that I think about it, I’m starting to wonder what a Shlohmo & PSYPIRITUAL collaboration would sound like. Anyway, do not sleep on this album. The Lasso & PSYPIRITUAL are both super talented artists, and I’m really looking forward to checking out whatever they both choose to do in the future. This shit is super dope.

22. Bonsai by Doc Wattson & Ronesh

This album is really goddamn great. Once again, I think Ronesh is an incredibly talented producer, and this project solidified him as one of my favorites when it comes to newer guys. I don’t know if he’s actually new to production, but I’m new to his work, so that’s what I mean by that. If I was a rapper myself I’d be scrambling to work with him. I’m thankful that this project introduced me to another dope artist too. Doc Wattson is a super talented lyricist and songwriter. He kinda reminds me of guys like Substantial or K-Beta in that he doesn’t really have a weird gimmick; he’s just an all around great writer. D. Lanham’s writing is far more esoteric, so I think Doc Wattson may be more accessible in general. I don’t really have any consistent gripes with this project at all to be honest. There’s not a single track here that I don’t like. I wouldn’t take off a single track. It’s a very cohesive package. I struggled to choose a favorite track because there are so many that I love. It was also cool to hear Ronesh actually rap too. I didn’t know he had that skill. I’m looking forward to hearing more music from both of these guys in the future, and I’d be happy to see them collaborate again because this shit is fire. Don’t sleep on it.

21. Serapeum (The Daughter Library) by Iceberg Theory & August Fanon

This album is really goddamn great. This is definitely my favorite project that I’ve heard from Iceberg Theory so far. The ancient religious & mystical themes had me hooked the entire time, and I think these are some of the best beats I’ve heard from August Fanon. There’s not a single track here that I didn’t think was dope. Every feature was great, and each verse from Iceberg Theory was super well written. Like I mentioned in the body of this review, I’m exposed to a new word or concept damn near every time I hear a song from this dude. Nobody is rapping about the shit he’s rapping about. If you’re tired of hearing the same kinda shit from every rapper you listen to, this is the kinda shit you need to be checking out. It’s super dope. Don’t sleep on it.

20. These Songs Kill Fascists by Time

This is honestly one of the best albums I’ve heard all year. I think it’ll be a polarizing listen for sure. This isn’t for everybody. Obviously if you’re a right winger you aren’t gonna like this. If you aren’t into political Hip Hop, this isn’t gonna be for you. I’m sure a lot of people will use the word “preachy” to describe this album, and I probably would too, but not as a pejorative. I don’t think preachiness is inherently bad. I think it’s well done here. The other thing that might turn people off is his flow because it’s very unique. For me it’s a really a track by track thing, so some songs have more strange flows than others. I think that’s part of Time’s charm though. I like it a lot. I think the lyricism is really interesting and well written. It’s nice that the way he conveys his messages is actually fun to listen to. I don’t feel like I’m listening to a politician’s speech. The production for the most part is really great and diverse. The content is obviously super woke. Overall, I think this shit is really great. Again, not everyone who listens is gonna love it, but I personally do, and I think it’s worth trying out because there’s not a single track here that I don’t like. Don’t sleep on it.

19. F U Z Z by Moodie Black

Honestly, this album is 10x better than I was expecting it to be. I genuinely never thought I would enjoy a Moodie Black album this much. I don’t know if it’s just me or if it’s actually just that much better than their preceding material. I think I’m probably just getting better at appreciating this abrasive, noisy style of music. I don’t know. This shit is really great, and borderline amazing to be honest. Actually, I think a big part of it has to do with me actually having the lyrics. It was incredibly difficult for me to appreciate K-Death’s rapping when I couldn’t really hear what she was saying, so having them all written out on the Bandcamp page helped a lot. Listening to Moodie Black has been a challenge for me in the past because I typically don’t get a lot of enjoyment out of super abrasive sounds like this. It’s like musical BDSM, and I’m incredibly vanilla. If I see a ball gag, I’m leaving immediately. This shit just works though. All the sounds come together in a really cool and legitimately pleasant way for me. I think these beats are awesome. All of them are very noisy to varying degrees, but it never just sounds like they’re being weird for no reason. It’s not the kind of experimentation where they’re just being different to turn heads. It seems like they’re doing exactly what they want to do, and wouldn’t change a thing even if nobody was paying attention. Again, I’m kinda shocked by how much I ended up enjoying this. I’ve never come away from a Moodie Black release thinking that what I’d just heard was bad, but I never expected anything on this level. I think this is my first time listening to a project from Moodie Black and liking every single song. This is one of the best albums I’ve heard all year, and you’re seriously fuckin’ up if you don’t at least give it a chance. It’s obviously not for everybody, but it deserves to be heard. Don’t sleep on it.

18. Shrines by Armand Hammer

This album is really fucking great, and borderline amazing to be honest. Elucid & billy woods are such a perfect pair; I genuinely don’t think I could’ve chosen a better rapper for either of them to work with. I like nOstrum grOcers a lot, but I think this pair makes more sense. I really wish I could’ve been a fly on the wall during the making of this album because I’d love to see how they work. I was really lost when it comes to a lot of the lyrical content here, so I’m wondering if these two know what each other are talking about when they hear each other rap. It’s crazy to me to think about how such abstract writers can be on the same page like this. I think this is easily the best album Armand Hammer have ever made, and I actually like this more than any of billy woods’ solo albums too. This shit is really gotdamn good. I think it’s another one of the best produced albums I’ve heard all year, right up there with The Purple Moonlight Pages and RUDEBWOY. I hope these two never stop working together because they work so well with each other. Elucid is the chocolate to billy woods’ peanut butter. I guess R.A.P. Ferreira would be caramel. Anyway, if you’re into abstract Hip Hop, do not sleep on this because it’s easily one of the best of the year. I still haven’t chosen a favorite song as of June 8th, and I probably won’t until the day this review is published. This shit is super dope.

17. The Grotesque & Beautiful by Teller Bank$

This album is dope as hell. I’m really glad that I finally got around to covering it even if I couldn’t do a full review. I just wanna make sure none of you guys sleep on this because Teller Bank$ is one of the most exciting artists in the underground right now in my opinion. Ed Glorious’ soulful production here is absolutely stellar, and Teller Bank$ has everything I could want in an artist: a unique voice, a great flow, the ability to write super well crafted verses—not only in terms of the content, but from a technical standpoint as well—a knack for coming up with catchy hooks, and even a likable signature ad-lib. This is me telling you that you need to hear this album. You’re fucking up if you sleep on this. I think it’s a really great album. Check it out and let me know what you think.

16. HUEMAN by Siul Hughes

This album is really goddamn great. Siul Hughes is definitely one of the most exciting discoveries I’ve made this year. I’m glad I finally got around to checking this album out before the year ended. There’s not a single track I don’t like here. I think Hughes’ poetic writing style is amazing, and the melodic, jazzy production here fits it perfectly. I don’t have a single consistent gripe. I’m gonna have to go back and check out his earlier work because I know he has at least a few other records out already. I can’t wait to hear more shit from him in the future though. I haven’t seen anyone else really talking about this album, so hopefully this’ll spark some more discussion. Don’t sleep on this one. It’s super dope.

15. Alfredo by Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist

This album is amazing. I don’t think it’s quite on the level of Piñata, but it’s definitely better than Bandana in my opinion. This is one of the best albums of the year. There’s not a single bad track here. The Alchemist cooked up some of the best beats Freddie has ever rapped over, which is saying a lot, and he rapped just as well as he always does. I didn’t love every single feature here, but they got better and better as the album progressed. This album pretty much gave me exactly what I wanted. Freddie is one of those rappers who can sound good over any type of production. I’m glad he didn’t try to sing at all on this album. That’s the one thing he does that usually doesn’t go over too well for me. I think they knocked this shit outta the park though. Any Hip Hop fan who doesn’t listen to this record is seriously fucking up. This shit is dope af.

14. Dreamery by Lt. Headtrip

This album is pretty amazing to me to be honest. I think C $ Burns’ production is absolutely superb, and Lt. Headtrip is a very talented writer. So, this album has a recurring motif of an island, and I wasn’t totally sure what it was supposed to represent at first. I actually think it’s supposed to represent a dream itself now. You wanna know why? He literally says it at the very end of the closing song. The last line on the album is, “this island is a dream that does not belong to me.” Everything kinda clicked after I heard that. At the beginning of the album he was trying to catch the ferry to the island, and the island is its own recurring character throughout the the entire project. I think that’s pretty cool. I just feel like he really nailed the concept here. I found every track pretty interesting, and these beats are fire. I wasn’t expecting C $ Burns’ production to be quite this good. Not that I thought he’d be bad, but this is some next level shit. A lot of these beats sound like they’re handled by a full production team rather than just one dude. He put his ass into these beats. Lt. Headtrip killed this shit too. I love his flow, and his writing had me hooked throughout the whole album. Don’t sleep on this shit. It’s dope af.

13. No Cosign Just Cocaine 3 by Ty Farris

This album is amazing. This is pretty easily the best album I’ve heard so far in 2020, which I guess isn’t saying that much since we’re barely halfway through the first month. I don’t think anyone will be surpassing this any time soon though. This shit is really fucking good. Ty Farris is a fucking beast on the mic. If you like coke talk, and rappers who make rhyming look easy, this is for you. If you like artists like Pusha T & Benny the Butcher, you’re fucking up if you don’t check this shit out. Honestly, I feel like Ty would probably body them if they all rapped together. As much as I love Pusha T, something about the way Ty raps just feels daunting. I feel like everyone would and should be nervous to hop on a song with him because he is ruthless. You saw from all the lines I quoted in the body of this review. Dude is a beast. I’m mad at myself for not checking his work out sooner. This shit is dope af.

12. There’s a Horse in the Hospital by Darko the Super

This album is honestly amazing to me. It’s easily my favorite project that I’ve heard from Darko the Super, and one of my favorite albums of the year. I’m just glad that it lived up to the quality of the cover art. I think Darko’s production here is fantastic. This probably should’ve been expected, but he fits over these beats like a glove. I also think every single featured artist here did a great job. Honestly, I don’t have any consistent gripes. This album contains everything I’ve loved about Darko the Super’s music in the past. His signature whimsical delivery is as charming as ever, and pretty much every single verse has at the very least one couplet that stands out. I love how weird this album is, and it just makes me even more excited to hear what Darko does next. I know he already has a lot of releases planned out for 2021, so that’s promising. I honestly don’t know if he’ll be able to top this because there’s not a single track here that I don’t think is dope. Even the opening track which doesn’t feature any rapping is super entertaining to me. Don’t sleep on this album. I think it’s dope af.

11. Noise Kandy 4 by Rome Streetz

I actually think this is the only album on this list that I never reviewed. It’s amazing though. In a nutshell, this is some of the hardest Gangsta Rap that dropped in 2020. Rome Streetz is an incredibly technically proficient MC as well. Every single verse is stuffed with multi-syllabic rhymes. Also, these beats are fucking amazing. Just listen to this album and tell me Prophet & a Pusher isn’t the hardest beat you’ve ever heard. That shit is cold as FUCK. I’ll definitely be covering the project he did with DJ Muggs at some point this year, so keep your eyes peeled for that. Definitely check this one out if you haven’t heard it yet though.

10. Run the Jewels 4 by Run the Jewels

This album is amazing. It’s easily one of the best albums of the year. Run the Jewels 3 is still my favorite RTJ album, but this is probably my second favorite now. There’s not a single track here that I don’t like. El-P’s production is super detailed and explosive here as always, and the writing is top tier. I of course love the political content, and I also like when they get more personal and emotional. I’d kinda like to see more of that, but I understand if they’d wanna save that kinda stuff for their solo work. They aren’t really doing anything here that they haven’t done in the past, but that’s not an issue for me at all. It’s just a shit ton of God-level production with stellar political rapping. Damn near every feature here was phenomenal too. There was kind of a dip in quality from track 7 to 9 in my opinion, but the songs were still dope. Overall, it’s yet another amazing body of work from one of the best musical duos of all time. Do not sleep on this.

9. I Shouldn’t Be Alive by TreaZon

This album is legitimately amazing to me. It’s actually one of the best albums I’ve heard all year. There isn’t a single song here that I dislike or am even lukewarm towards. Everything here is dope. The one aspect of Troublesome that really stood out to me was TreaZon’s aggression and hunger. It’s still present on this album, but in addition to that, the production, songwriting quality, and hooks have all leveled up. I’m actually surprised by how well he was able to sing on these songs. He sang on Troublesome, but it pretty much just got the job done. It legitimately increased my enjoyment of each song here though. I genuinely don’t have a consistent gripe with this album. I already loved Troublesome, but this is better in pretty much every way. I can’t wait to see what he does in the future because this shit right here is phenomenal. This dude is talented as hell. Y’all need to stop sleeping on this dude as soon as possible. This shit is dope af.

8. Bad Rap by K-Beta & DJ J-Scrilla

This album is amazing. I think this is easily the best work I’ve heard from K-Beta. There’s not a single track here that isn’t dope. I don’t know who I’m more impressed by between him and DJ J-Scrilla. The production here fits K-Beta’s style perfectly. I know K-Beta’s starting to produce his own music, but I hope these guys continue to work together in the future because they have great chemistry. I really don’t have any consistent gripes with this album. I think it’s a great length, the production is phenomenal, all the verses are dope, there’s not a single wack feature, and even the hooks are good. This shit is dope af. Don’t sleep on this album.

7. Purple Moonlight Pages by R.A.P. Ferreira

This shit is fuckin’ amazing. When I first listened to Rory’s music, I never thought I’d enjoy it this much. I don’t know how he could’ve improved this project. I mean, maybe he could’ve shortened it a little bit, but there’s really not a single track that I don’t like. There’s not a single song here that I would say is just “good.” At worst, this album is great. At best, it’s quintessential abstract Jazz Rap. I haven’t read a lot of the discussion surrounding this album, but what little I’ve actually seen has been pretty dumb. I mean, it’s not dumb. It’s just the kinda shit that makes me roll my eyes. People on both sides of the spectrum were saying things that confused or annoyed me. Most of the people who seemed to dislike this record didn’t really say what they didn’t like about it. They just called R.A.P. Ferreira “annoying.” I’m guessing they just think this style of rapping is pretentious. I can kinda get that, but I don’t know… I kinda felt like budding ornithologists came off a little pretentious, but that was as a new listener, and I still ended up thinking it was a good album. This record is on a whole other level though. I wonder if those people would describe Gil-Scott Heron or Saul Williams as “annoying.” Those are the two artists I kept thinking of as I listened to this album. The other people who were praising this album were kinda being douchebags about it though. Like, one person said that if you don’t like this album, you’re a “boring listener” and that it is a “litmus test.” That’s probably the most pretentious thing he could’ve said about it. Just let people have opinions. I guess it’s kinda ironic and slightly hypocritical that I’m complaining about people’s complaints while telling them to let people have their opinions. I don’t know. It just seemed like everyone in that conversation was mad at each other for having a different opinion. Anyway, I guess I should actually talk about the album itself. I think this is quite possibly the best produced album I’ve heard all year. These beats are fucking gorgeous across the board. Even if I didn’t understand a single line, this would still be a super enjoyable album just from a musical standpoint. Rory has always been good at confusing the dogshit outta me, but this time I feel like I’m holding on to just enough to feel like I can decipher it if I keep returning. In the past I felt like I was completely lost with no chance of ever understanding anything, but that’s not the case this time. Most of it still didn’t really make a lot of sense to me, but I feel like I have the ability to understand this time. All of the beats are jazzy, but they still feel varied enough to not get stale by the time the album is ending. Track 5 sounds nothing like track 7. All of the songs can fall under the Jazz Rap subgenre, but they don’t sound samey to me at all. I think this is easily the best album Rory has ever made, as well as one of the best albums I’ve heard this year, and I frankly don’t know how he’ll be able to surpass this in the future. I don’t have any real complaints. I think this shit is dope af. Don’t sleep on it.

6. A Written Testimony by Jay Electronica

This album is amazing. Again, a project like this comes with many questions. Was it worth the wait? No. No album is worth waiting 13 years for. Is it better than Act I? No, not in my opinion. Am I satisfied? No. I mean, I am, but, at the same time, I still want more. I still want Act II, and Act III. I doubt those albums will ever happen though. This project has me questioning whether or not we’ll ever get a full solo album from Jay Electronica. Are we gonna have to wait another decade for more music from him? I’m sure he’ll pop up like Andre 3000 and deliver on features here and there like he’s been doing for the past 13 years. I want more though, and I’ll take whatever I can get. I’ve seen some people saying that Jay-Z stole the show and outshined Jay Electronica, and I really don’t get how. The only song where he completely smoked him was Flux Capacitor. I also think Hov had the better verse on Shiny Suit Theory, but it’s not like it wasn’t close. Jay Electronica was far more interesting lyrically on every other song. One thing that I didn’t think about until immediately after listening for the first time was that Jay Electronica claimed to have written this album in just 40 days. If something like this was made in forty days, how amazing is the other shit he’s been recording for the past decade? Also, we all know Shiny Suit Theory wasn’t recorded in the last 40 days, so what’s the deal with that? As much as I love this album, I still want more. Jay Electronica has been in my top 10 favorite rappers list for a while now, and people always questioned it, so hopefully I won’t have to put an asterisk by his name anymore. Anyway… This album is amazing. I’m happy it’s out. I seriously hope we don’t have to wait super long for more music in the future, and I think certain aspects of this project could’ve been a lot better, but this is still currently my album of the year. It’s close though. It shouldn’t have been close. This should’ve been album of the decade, and it’s dangerously close to being tied with Clear Soul Forces’ latest record. I’m too happy about this project actually existing to complain though. This shit is dope af.

5. Forceswithyou by Clear Soul Forces

As I said before, I think this album is amazing, and it’s easily the best album Clear Soul Forces has ever made. Again, it’s bittersweet since this is the last one, but I honestly don’t know where they could’ve gone from here. I legitimately don’t know how they could have surpassed this one. I was honestly skeptical that they’d be able to outdo themselves again since I loved Still so much, but this is even more consistent. It’s the perfect length too. This is the perfect example of an album that’s all killer and no filler. There’s not a single track here that I don’t think is fantastic. Shoutout to Ilajide for making these beats too. People tend to focus in on the rapping since the way they trade bars and go at it is so awe inspiring, but I feel like they don’t recognize him as a producer enough. Maybe as a solo artist he’ll get more credit on that front. I’m just glad they went out this way. It would’ve been tragic if they dropped some Idlewild level shit (even though I like that album). By the way, don’t take my “least favorite song” selection too seriously because I love every single track here. My gut just tells me that that’s the song I’d drop if someone put a gun to my head and told me to shorten the album. This whole thing is phenomenal though. I have no consistent gripes with it. It’s dope af, and my favorite album of 2020 so far.

4. Miles by Blu & Exile

Gotdamn. I finally made it all the way through. I honestly thought it would take me a lot longer to review this shit. I’m not complaining though. Anyway, I think this album is amazing. The fact that these motherfuckers were operating in peak condition for over an hour and a half, with ZERO skippable tracks is absolutely insane to me. There’s not a single song here that I don’t think is dope. I don’t even know who I would say I’m more impressed by. These beats are incredible, and Blu absolutely killed every single one of them. I don’t have a single consistent complaint. I mean, I wasn’t crazy about that old ass Jacinto Rhines dude, but he was only on two tracks. This album is just awe-inspiring to me though. It’s such an ambitious project, and the fact that they somehow managed to knock this outta the park is crazy. It’s easily one of the best albums I’ve heard all year to be honest. People really need to start giving Exile his credit too. He’s not mentioned enough whenever people are talking about the best producers. He’s a beast. This album is dope as hell. Don’t be turned off by the length. Every second is justified. You’re fucking up if you decide not to listen.

3. RUDEBWOY by CJ Fly

This is the best album I’ve heard this year. I think this shit is amazing. Every single song here is fantastic. This is quintessential Pro Era music. It’s easily the best album CJ Fly has ever made, and one of the best albums by a Pro Era artist period. I don’t have any consistent issues with it at all. Statik Selektah put his fucking ass into this project, man. This is easily one of the best produced albums I’ve heard this year. Him and The Jefferson Park Boys are definitely the top contenders for producer of the year right now. I think this is the most focused, well groomed project CJ Fly could’ve possibly made. It really defines him as an artist too. This would be a perfect starting point for any new listeners who want to get to know him as an artist. I love the way he incorporated the Caribbean influences too. It always sounds corny and gimmicky when someone like Drake does it, but since those are actually CJ’s roots it works perfectly here. A Damien Marley collab would be awesome. I will say that in general I enjoyed the first half a bit more than the second one, but overall this this is damn near flawless. Obviously since he’s a Pro Era artist you pretty much know what to expect; it’s very traditional Hip Hop. It’s just done incredibly well. The production is wonderful, and CJ’s songwriting capabilities are better than they’ve ever been. Do not overlook this album. It’s dope af.

2. I’M ON TO ME by Rav

This album is fucking amazing to me. It’s easily my favorite EXOCIETY release now, and one of the best projects I’ve heard all year. As a matter of fact, I genuinely think this is one of the most relatable albums I’ve ever heard. I really needed this shit, man. Rav was able to perfectly encapsulate the struggles of coping with depression and tragedy in just seven songs. He also produced almost every single track here, which wasn’t the case for his first album. I don’t really think these beats would blow me away as instrumental tracks, but they’re perfect for this project. Rav knew exactly what kind of beats to make for the content he was going for. I have zero consistent gripes with this project. There wasn’t really any room for error in the first place, and I think Rav delivered on all fronts. I can already tell this album is gonna get me through some dark moments. There’s not a single mid verse here. Every artist involved did a tremendous job. Do not sleep on this album. It’s dope as hell.

1. LSD: Lunar Soular Duality by Cambatta

This is the best album I’ve heard all year. In fact, I’d probably say this is better than any extended plays I’ve heard as well. This shit is damn near perfect to me. Cambatta had me hooked the entire time. I was on the edge of my seat listening to this project, trying to catch every single line. Damn near every fucking lyric on the album is a quotable bar. There are more quotable bars on this album than a lot of artists have in their entire careers. The dude’s got some stiff competition, but I really don’t know if anyone will be able to top this in 2020. I seriously hope people don’t put off listening to this album just because it’s long. The runtime is more than justified. After listening to this project, I felt like I had just come down from a super intense trip. This is from someone who’s never experimented with psychedelics by the way. I’m basically just trying to say that this album feels like a chaotic journey. I felt like I’d really been through some wild shit by the time it was over. I love when albums have that effect on me. Writing about it has been just as rewarding as my first listen as well. I love when artists are able to make me have fun like this. I really enjoyed everything about this project. The trippy themes of spirituality and existence were super interesting, and this is coming from someone who is strictly secular. Usually when people talk about spirituality it makes me roll my eyes, but I fucking love this shit. This album fucked my mind, but in the best way possible. Do not sleep on this shit. If you’ve read this entire review and you aren’t even mildly interested in checking it out, I’ve failed. I can’t compliment it enough. I think it’s incredible.


Man, what a year. I feel like now that I’ve put this list out I’m officially moving on to 2021. Again, this list is subject to change; it’s possible that I hear a 2020 release that blows me away even more than any of the projects on the list—although highly unlikely. Just because an album isn’t on this list doesn’t mean it isn’t worth listening to. However, I really hope you guys at least check out all these albums here. Also checkout the EP list if you haven’t yet. So yeah, there’s the list. Let me know what you think of these projects, and also tell me what your favorite album of 2020 was down in the comments below.

2 comments

  1. Don’t forget to check out Benny’s album from last year! Not that it would make the list but I personally thought it was cool to hear him go a somewhat different direction both lyrically and sonically.

    Btw always a pleasure to read your reviews man. I dig your perspective and judging from this list I got a helluva lot of catching up to do with underground hip hop

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